Strong Showing in NBA Playoffs Could Lead to Hobby Success

Strong Showing in NBA Playoffs Could Lead to Hobby Success

The last few NBA seasons have been dominated by the usual cast of the NBA elite. Although several younger players were able to gain notice, the playoffs and NBA Championship were dominated by veteran-heavy rosters. This year, with the Lakers, Spurs and Celtics all going down earlier than most anticipated, new teams and their players have stepped into the spotlight and are poised to move into collecting relevance. The following players (and their respective rookie cards) showed some promise in the playoffs this year which could translate into an increase in their card values and the demand for them.

Zach Randolph - Memphis Grizzlies

Although Randolph has put up solid stats for most of his career, he has not had too many chances to showcase his abilities in the playoffs. This season, he definitely made the most of his opportunities. At times virtually unstoppable, Randolph has averaged 22.8 points, 2.4 assists and 10.8 rebounds per game in the playoffs and was the main reason the Grizzlies were able to dispatch the San Antonio Spurs and take the OKC Thunder to seven games. As an All-Star in 2010 and a member of the All-NBA Third Team this season, Randolph looks ready to bring the Grizzlies into a period of consistent winning and position himself as a valuable collecting option.

Key Rookies Cards:

2001 02 Topps High Zach Randolph Autograph Image

Marc Gasol - Memphis Grizzlies

Known for years as "Pau's brother", Marc is finally emerging from his brother's shadow. Standing 7'1" and only 26-years old, he is a full inch taller and four years younger than his well-known brother. Marc averaged 15 points, 2.2 assists and 11.2 rebounds per game during the playoffs and combined with Zach Randolph to dominate the boards and inside scoring for the Grizzlies. Although the Gasol brothers were part of a trade considered widely to be one of the most one-sided of all time, the Grizzlies look like they knew exactly what they were doing. They sent big-brother Pau to the Lakers for a package of players that included his younger brother, Kwame Brown, guard Javaris Crittenton, guard Aaron McKie and two first-round picks.

Key Rookies Cards:

2008 09 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Marc Gasol Rookie Card Image

Danny Granger - Indiana Pacers

Danny Granger is by no means an unknown player in the NBA, but playing for a team like the Indiana Pacers has a tendency to shield your abilities from the masses. Granger was one of the few bright spots for the Pacers in their playoff series against the Bulls, averaging 21.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. As he continues to improve his game, Granger will need a better supporting cast in order to thrive or he will be nothing more than the best player on an average team.

Key Rookies Cards:

2005 06 SPx Danny Granger Autographed Jersey Rookie Card Image

Mike Conley - Memphis Grizzlies

Being the son of a famous athlete (his father was an Olympic gold and silver medalist in the triple jump) can put a lot of pressure on a young player, but Conley has shown he can handle it. He had a strong showing in the playoffs, averaging 15.2 points, 6.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Conley's career had been inconsistent since he was drafted with the 4th overall pick by Memphis in 2007, but this season he cemented his starting role and helped lead the Grizzlies to their first playoff appearance in five years. Conley, Gasol and Randolph form a strong group that can lead the team to future playoff success as well as hobby interest.

Key Rookies Cards:

2007 08 Upper Deck Exquisite Mike Conley Autograph Jersery Rookie Card Image

Jrue Holiday - Philadelphia 76'ers

The Philadelphia 76'ers are an NBA team filled with plenty of young talent including Thaddeus Young, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday. Young and Iguodala have already gained some notoriety around the league but Holiday emerged this season as a strong scoring option as well a great offensive facilitator. The 76'ers did not pose much of a threat to the Heat in the playoffs this year but Holiday still averaged a respectable 14.2 points, 5.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. Given that this year was his first as a full-time starter, Holiday should make great strides next year and has the potential to be a top-ten point guard in the next few seasons.

Key Rookies Cards:

2009 10 Timeless Treasures Autograph Rookie Card Image

An honorable mention goes out to Atlanta's Jeff Teague, a little-used player in his second year who performed admirably and showed great potential for the Hawks against the Chicago Bulls when Kirk Hinrich went down with an injury during the second round of the playoffs.

ebaysmalllogo Image

1713938838634040 1 Image
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2005 06 Danny Granger Topps First Row Autograph Rookie Insert Auto RC 190
1310780250514040 1 Image
(C70) 05-06 Danny Granger SPX #140 AUTO JERSEY RC #D 627 1499
3209184269824040 1 Image
2005-06 UD Trilogy DANNY GRANGER Auto Focus Signature RC Rookie PACERS
2215248741444040 1 Image
2005-06 SP Signature Edition Scripts for Success Auto Danny Granger RC #50 200
1312718096884040 1 Image
BGS 9.5 '05 SPX DANNY GRANGER RC *Auto 10* Jersey
3214949284964040 1 Image
DANNY GRANGER 05-06 SPX auto patch RC #140 SN #1400 1499
3214762953394040 1 Image

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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

User Comments

  1. Great article, thanks!

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